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The Best Eye Shadow

Last updated on June 28, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Eyeshadows

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Warm Neutrals Palette Eyeshadow

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP

Warm Neutrals Palette Eyeshadow

This kit will immediately become your favorite eye shadow kit. This stunning, cruelty-free eye shadow palette contains 16 buildable colors from cream to peach to brown; there's also a nice variety of matte, satin, shimmery and metallic finishes that highlight all skin tones.

Overall Take

Extensive Color CollectionYou will reach for this kit every time you are ready to make up your eyes.

 Runner Up

Prism Makeup Blendable Shimmer Metallic Palette Eyeshadow

Prism Makeup

Blendable Shimmer Metallic Palette Eyeshadow

Prism Makeup's advanced artistry pressed eye shadow palette has 40 rich hues in every color of the rainbow and features super-reflective metallics, intense pigments, iridescent pearlized shimmers and soft, smooth mattes.

Overall Take

Professional ChoiceIt's not always easy to know where to start with this set, but rest assured that you will have a blast trying every one of the shades!

 We Also Like

REVLON Dual-Ended Applicator & ColorStay Palette Eyeshadow

REVLON

Dual-Ended Applicator & ColorStay Palette Eyeshadow

At an affordable price, Revlon's ColorStay quad eye shadow set has four blendable and coordinating colors (sold in eight combinations), a dual-ended, rounded-tip applicator and rich shades that can last as long as 16 hours. These products are tested by ophthalmologists, too.

Overall Take

Four Shades You can rest easy knowing your eyes are safe whenever you swipe these gorgeous colors onto your lids.

 Also Great

Maybelline New York Applicators & Blushed Nudes Palette Eyeshadow

Maybelline New York

Applicators & Blushed Nudes Palette Eyeshadow

Maybelline's fan-favorite blushed nudes eyeshade palette is infused with sultry, rose gold pigments to help you build up different looks to suit your mood. You can use the included double-ended sponge applicator to create designs from subdued to dramatic.

Overall Take

Shimmering NeutralsYou'll feel confident you are photo and video-ready whenever you wear these colors!

Buying Guide

Powder eye shadow products start with a base filler like mica, cosmetic-grade talc or kaolin clay, and binders derived from magnesium or zinc are added to build consistency and texture. Some manufacturers may add things like silica and dimethicone to help the shadow slide easily over eyelids, plus preservatives like glycol to prevent bacteria from growing. Cream eye shadows have oils and waxes in them, like beeswax, shea butter, silicone and jojoba oil. There are also pigments that give the eye shadow its color.

Cream eye shadows tend to last longer because of the oils and waxes in them, but they can be more prone to creasing. Modern stick eye shadows go on like a cream and dry like powders, but they can be more expensive. An eye shadow palette can be more cost-effective; some have only two colors while others have dozens. Look for those with a good variety of blendable colors with different finishes like matte, pearlized and shimmer.

Remember that eye shadow can irritate your eyes in some instances. Only use products designed to be used around the eyes, and avoid those that contain harsh or untested chemicals. Cruelty-free products are not tested on animals, and the eye shadow palette will indicate this. If your eyes are burning or otherwise irritated when using an eye shadow product, stop using it because it could lead to an eye infection. Wash your applicators with soap regularly, and dispose of the eye shadow after three months.

If you’re not sure which colors look best on you, buy an extensive palette and start experimenting. Many people stick to the rule of matching their skin’s undertone, though this isn’t set in stone. If you’re unsure about experimenting, stop at a makeup counter for a professional opinion.

What to Look For

  • Since you’re experimenting with different eye shadow colors, why not try a new shade of eyeliner to go with it? Gold and silver liners are trending now.
  • You may not want to match your eye shadow exactly to your lip color, but keep both in the same warm or cool category.
  • Never share your eye shadow with other people; it can be a health hazard.
  • Only introduce one new eye makeup product at a time in case you have allergies.
  • Eye shadow primer will help your shadow last longer.

More to Explore

The color of eye shadow can complement eye color when done correctly. Brown eyes can be accentuated with almost any color and look especially nice with blue, green or bronze. Green and hazel eyes look amazing with taupes, lavenders, neutral pinks and hues with reddish undertones. If you have blue eyes, try a rich brown, shimmery gray, silver or orangey neutrals. Should you have gold flecks in your eyes, emphasize that with a shimmering gold shadow.

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